Sunday, 13 March 2011

Irish Survivors and The New Irish Government - an open letter

To : Irish TDs, Government Officials and Media…

A Chara,

I write to you as Survivor of Elite Fee paying Irish Catholic Boarding Schools, where over a 11 year period I was beaten, psychologically abused, sexually abused and neglected.

Killeshee Convent, Kildare - 1966-1967
Willow Park Prep School, Blackrock, Dublin 1967-1971
Colaiste na Rinne, Dungarvan, Waterford 1971 - 1972
Mount Mellory Reformatory School, Clonmel, Waterford 1972 - 1973
Colaiste Isogan, Ballyvourney, Co. Cork. 1973 - 1977

None of these Institutions have been addressed by the Redress Board or any other body or organisation concerned with the continuing story of child abuse in Irish Residential Schools...

The costs to me and my family have been intense. My life has been a struggle with shame, confusion, pain, psychological trauma, poverty and breakdown.

I have however been able to break the cycles of trauma to a greater degree, within my own life at least. Now I speak and work for Survivors of what are termed Adverse Childhood Experiences, and for an empathic Society. I do not speak as a representative of others, but as an individual member of a wider community.

The adverse affects of a childhood of abuse are well understood.

The intergenerational affects of Adverse Childhood Experiences are also equally well understood.

Unresolved Trauma has an intergenerational effect which permeates down through successive generations, until such time as awareness reaches the level where the trauma patterns are recognised for what they are and action is taken to break the cycles, action that must include Restorative Justice, Reparations, Education, support for Nurturant Parenting at the grass roots by ALL Governmental Institutions and others.

The current state of play with regards the abuse dynamics of the Residential Schools story, and the ways in which those culpable, in Governance and in the Church have denied, covered-up, shielded perpetrators, intimidated Survivors, manipulated Survivors (foot washing at the Pro Cathedral.... etc ) a process that is still very much active, shows that the traumatising continues, is intentional and profoundly lacking in Empathy for the Survivors and indeed all children.

These adverse processes are well described, and understood, not least by Survivors who have gone through these processes, and is active in every country where Survivors have spoken up. Canada, USA, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Australia, Italy, Portugal, England, Slovenia, and Ireland with more stories emerging from many other countries across Africa, Aisa and South America.

As a Member of the new Irish Government, you are now responsible for what occurs within Education, and other areas of Government Institutional behaviour in Ireland, for what happens to the children of the Irish People, amongst other things, on a day to day basis.

You bear personal and collective responsibility, and you have chosen to bear this responsibility.

Education includes the dissemination of accurate information, and with regard to the issues outlined above, the dissemination of information that will support empathic parenting, nurture our children and break the cycles of abuse, indoctrination and neglect that have typified State Education for so long.

There is no legal mandatory reporting of child abuse of any kind in the Irish Republic.

There have been few prosecutions of abuser clergy, compared to the incidence of known abuses.

There have been no prosecutions of any persons involved in cover-ups, intimidation and manipulation of Survivors.

Survivors are being excluded from participation in the discourse around the setting up of the Statuary Fund and other related matters.

I am calling on you to now take a strong and sustained public stance on these matters, leading to practical action that makes a material and measurable difference in the quality of the response to Survivors and the protection of children.

I am calling on you to meet with and consult Survivors, and to facilitate an open discourse on the matters outlined above, led by Survivors and their advocates.

I am calling on you to protect children in the present and future, to confront those culpable for abuse and cover up, to confront all those who have been and are responsible for 'crisis management' of the issues.

Given the importance of these matters I expect a personal, public and detailed response, at your convenience.

Yours sincerely

Corneilius Crowley


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